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Poster: midnight sun Date: Mar 10, 2010 11:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Weir and Bartok

Rob posted this Bob Weir quote and link a few weeks back:

[[[I also listened to a lot of Bela Bartok and wrote a tune based on a concerto of his that just floored me for at least a month. I listened to it every other night until it was coming out of my ears and fingers. It was a full Bartok progression with lots and lots of dissonance that worked well to my satisfaction.]]];;pg=1

according to David Dodd's book, the tune Weir is referring to is "Victim Or The Crime", anybody happen to know exactly which Bartok concerto?

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Mar 12, 2010 11:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Weir and Bartok

hey people, much appreciate all the replies, info and comments!

had a listen to MFSPAC and Rite Of Spring (up at youtube) and didn't readily notice the connection (possibly in the IV movement of MFSPAC?) very enjoyable all the same, especially the Ist movement...maybe try another listen w/o any distractions...hope Bob's tape wasn't mislabeled :)

happened upon this tidbit of info but can't locate the actual essay (seems like a thoughtful discussion...)
- towards bottom of this webpage:
"I highly recommend Shaugn O'Donnell's essay on Victim & its
relationship to Bartok in AGI, by the way!"

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 12, 2010 11:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Weir and Bartok

You're most welcome, midnight. Just in case you're interested the first recording of Music for String Instruments, Percussion and Celesta is available in the Archive. (Isn't this place wonderful?)

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 11, 2010 1:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Weir and Bartok

Midnight - This is what Blair Jackson says:

"That summer, too, Bob Weir brought in a controversial song called "Victim or the Crime," which he'd written for the Dead in 1983 but the group not developed at the time. Instead, it became part of Weir's solo repertoire until he asked the Dead to tackle it again in the spring of '88. With its plodding rhythm, harsh chords and dissonant ascending lines, it was a tough song to embrace — for Deadheads and the other band members. As Garcia said a few months after the song's debut, "It's a hideous song. It's very angular and unattractive sounding. It doesn't make itself easy to like. It just doesn't sound good; or rather, it sounds strange. And it is strange. It has strange steps in it, but that's part of what makes it interesting to play." (Weir said that the music had been inspired, in part, by Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" and Bartok's "Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste," not exactly easy listening.)"

Time to do some classical listening!

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Poster: shaugn Date: Mar 22, 2010 8:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Weir and Bartok

Rob, that was precisely the quote that got me exploring the link between MSPC and "Victim" in the first place. I love Bartok, particularly MSPC, and I love the Dead, including most Bob tunes, but "Victim" remains hideous to me (to borrow Jerry's term). It was that internal discrepancy that led to my AGI chapter.

I'd recommend the string quartets for heads wanting to really discover Bartok, especially if you can see them live; they absolutely rock!

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 11, 2010 5:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Weir and Bartok

This illustrates something interesting not just about Weir, but about Garcia (and, presumably Lesh) as well - that he was willing to take on Weir's "hideous" songs just because they provided interesting playing challenges that he wouldn't have come up with on his own. He probably didn't mind a Weir song being unsingable & unlikeable as long as it had new & difficult patterns for him to master. And for Lesh, the more awkward & dissonant a song, the better! (He's the one who turned Weir on to that kind of music in the first place...)

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 11, 2010 5:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Weir and Bartok... and Lesh and Reich

Lesh was (still is?) a real musical cross-fertiliser. Steve Reich, Lesh and Tom Constantanten were in a Stockhausen/jazz improvisation group in the early 60s and Phil, in fact, cosigned for a state of the art tape deck for Reich when he started getting into sampling soundscapes. Reich cites Lesh as an influence in an interview with Thurston Moore in 2008.

He said Lesh got him into the Beatles before he disappeared to visit Jerry Garcia in 1964.

I was wondering if Lesh and Reich had kept in contact but haven't found anything out one way or another.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Mar 11, 2010 7:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Weir and Bartok

Weir might be using "concerto" in a "pice of classical music sense", or he could actually mean an actual concerto ( I was in classical retail for years, I got used to trying to figure out, what people really wanted ).
If it is a concerto , he might have meant one of the 3 piano concerto, the violin concerto ( the 2nd actually) , or the Concerto for Orchestra .
If it just is a general reference to Bartok . I might well be the "Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste" .
I would think (hope) that most Deadheads would be able to get into Bartok .
A good starting point would be the classic recording of the Concerto for Orchestra , coupled with the MFSPAC, by Reiner/Chicago .

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Poster: headgdhead Date: Mar 11, 2010 12:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Weir and Bartok

"Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste" is an awesome piece of music. It would have been an interesting undertaking for the Dead to try and perform. (evil)